Two interesting tidbits of info for you.
Tidbit 1) It’s been said that, per capita, Thailand has the highest number of Japanese restaurants outside of Japan, with some 3000. (pre CoVid)
Tidbit 2) Japanese Ambassadors get to take their own chefs with them, when they deploy overseas. Fiscally concerned compatriots need not worry. This doesn’t happen for US Ambassadors, unless they foot the bill.
The number of Japanese Ambassadors though, was larger than the number of Japanese chefs who wanted to go to remote places like Timor Leste, so they embarked on finding a solution.
I’m sure they looked at economics, but their stated research focused on palette. And, among those they studied, they found the Filipino and Thai palette to be most similar to the Japanese. I wonder about this, but that’s what they found.
With this research in hand, they recruited some 3,000 candidates and brought them to Japan to be trained in Japanese culinary skills. This way, they had a supply of chefs ready to travel. Likely, for much less than a Japanese citizen, and with the added ability of being able to cook Thai or Filipino food. A secondary benefit is that now, there are a lot of really good Japanese cooks out there. Including scores within walking distance of the house.
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